Typhoon Hagibis expected to scrape Japan before chilling US next week

A man with an umbrella crosses a street under the rain as a typhoon hits Tokyo, on Sept 9, 2019.
A man with an umbrella crosses a street under the rain as a typhoon hits Tokyo, on Sept 9, 2019.PHOTO: AFP

BOSTON (BLOOMBERG) - A super typhoon in the Pacific Ocean is forecast to create double trouble with dangerous winds in Japan and frigid cold in the United States.

The storm named Hagibis is on track to scrape Japan's south-east coast this weekend with torrential rain and Category 3 winds in excess of 179kmh.

Then, forecasters say, it is likely to head towards Alaska, energising the jet stream - a ribbon of fast-moving air circling the globe - in a way that will push sub-zero cold south into the US.

Hagibis may or may not make landfall on Japan, but it will likely come close, said Mr Bob Smerbeck, a meteorologist with AccuWeather in State College, Pennsylvania.

"Saturday into Saturday night is when the worst combination of wind and rain will hit places like Tokyo," he said.

A weakened Hagibis will pull away from Japan by Sunday, but the storm's effects on the weather will just be getting started for North America, he said.

Hagibis "will be a formidable storm" as it crosses the Pacific and nears Alaska and British Columbia. At this point, it will run into the jet stream, he added, fuelling it in a way that could cause a cascade of downstream effects.

For the US, it means a sub-zero cold blast racing out of Canada and striking deep into the Midwest, Mr Jim Rouiller, chief meteorologist at the Energy Weather Group outside Philadelphia.

That will come on the heels of a major snow storm that is forecast to put down across the Dakotas and southern Manitoba a few days earlier.

 

"It will be a pretty solid weather event," said Mr Rouiller. "The cold will reach the Midwest, the Great Lakes, the Plains, basically the entire middle part of the continent."